Helena works with patients on their sexual concerns and needs through individually focused assessment and provides practical and informational support to feelings of intimacy and sexual confidence for women and their partners.
Helena’s goal of sexual and intimacy based counselling is for patients to feel empowered by discovering new or different possibilities, and ways of reducing the impact of cancer-related illness and treatment on sexual self-esteem. Patients will experience increased self-confidence and improved body image, and realistic hopefulness in their relationships with self and others.
Helena has extensive experience in the area of women’s cancer care with an established career as a specialist cancer and breast nurse with special interest in issues related to sexual functioning and intimacy for women and men, who have undergone treatment for cancer. She was the inaugural rural specialist breast nurse in the South West with the Cancer Council Western Australia prior to her role of cancer nurse coordinator with the Western Australia Cancer and Palliative Care Network. She has also worked for many years with the Menopausal Symptoms after Cancer Clinic at King Edward Memorial Hospital and the organization, Sexuality, Education, Consultancy and Counselling Agency (SECCA).
Helena’s special interest and expertise also include supporting women to manage pelvic pain related to sexual intimacy, with issues including pain on sexual intercourse, vaginismus and vulvodynia. She works collaboratively with other health professionals in this area to assist patients.
Helena received her Diploma of General Nursing from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in 1983, Bachelor of Applied Science (Nursing) from Edith Cowan University in 1997, Specialist Breast Nurse Certificate from Edith Cowan University in 2002, Post Graduate Diploma (Sexology) from Curtin University in 2009 and Post Graduate Diploma (Counselling) from Notre Dame University in 2013.